tv [untitled] May 23, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT
in their own ideas. they want to be able to come out onto the streets and hear different languages, people from different companies, different parts of the world, interact in the great big news that we have. that keeps their mind innovative, and then they go to work 15 hours a day inventing the new applications, but their companies are here because of the talent. that is the secret to innovation, i think. that is why i pay attention every tuesday with a new company. that has also gotten the invitations to visit this company in new york, this other one in chicago, and other places, because they are proud of the fact that there is a mayor paying attention to what they are doing. there are a number of other things we are doing to make the city more investment-friendly. we are going to revitalize the payroll tax. that is on the way.
we have the controller coming out with ideas. they have interviewed major industries to find out what we can replace it with. there will be some kind of version of a gross receipts tax that i think will end up being some sort of hybrid of that that comes out to as much agreement as we can. i think the biggest lesson there is we're keeping everyone in the room, from the established chamber of commerce members, technology companies, people who have been here for a long time, to small businesses who want to make sure we are streamlining things as we go and discover a better taxing system. i have mentioned before job training and placement. not only have the tech companies recognized the need for training, but even our u.s. department of labour. they have recognized this industry needs more training for people. if we are going to hit the
veterans when they come home, made a career folks to get into the technology, we need training centers. a month and half ago, the u.s. department of labour announced a $5 million grant to san francisco to allow us to train young people all across the city into the new job skills that they need to be successful in a technology and in the by-life sciences industry. $5 million grant. we are going to put that into the trading mechanism through a couple of nonprofits that will devise those same curriculum and getting the skill sets down and making sure we train people. this summer there will be a lot of youth looking for jobs. we had a great meeting with all of the 55 departments of the city, try to get some extra money to hire our youth run the city, in internships to run this
summer. we want to reach out to 3000 kids. we have asked as at city to step up with the chamber of commerce. they will be meeting with us to make an announcement on how the private sector will join san francisco government to host summer jobs for as many youth as we can. when we get our youth interested in making some money for themselves, we will be that much more responsible for their lives in the summer rather than hanging around and getting into trouble. that leads to partnership and education. there was a dispute with i said, school board, while you are being cut, these millions of dollars from the state and you're asking the city to step up on a rainy day fund, i would like you to consider not sitting on your vacant property. i do not know if you remember
when occupy san francisco was here. i suggested this spot for 16th and mission street. that was one of their sites. how could you sit on a site for a decade that is right across from a bart station, walgreen's, in the middle of a community that has been demanding more economic recovery? how could the school district's sit on it? i said, if you are not going to do anything with it, i am going to let occupy occupy it. that woke everybody up. it caused the conversation, we are sitting on assets that are underutilized. how can we do that and ask the taxpayers to give the school district money? we have to think about everything we have and maximize everything we have while we try to deal with the gaps.
it is just my way of saying, every mayor told me i had to go in and dig out cuts. i am just trying to put that same imagination and everyone that works around me. i invest in neighborhoods. that has been my mantra. as you know, from my past speeches, the hardest job in my life was dpw director, but it was the most gratifying because i got to know every neighborhood in the city. when you get to pick up trash, of a graffiti, you remember those walls and alleyways and the streets that the neighbors complained about. if you can figure out how to get it cleaned consistently, then you do not hear the same complaints. they will be on your back. this is what i love about the city. i also remember as dpw director, they had that watch
column that put me in there every two weeks. i was famous. my e-mail, cell phone #, picture. cron watch. the bane of my existence. we have investments in infrastructure. i am helping to put together a number of different asks from the public this november. one of them i think you will respond to positively is reinvestment in our parks. we have done well with the private-partner sector. we will author of another bond because everybody loves their parks. that is half the reason why families want to stay. if we do not invest in our parks, that will be half the reason why they leave, in addition to the schools and affordability of housing. we have other things that will be very important to our infrastructure that we will be
talking to the voters about. we will also honor something that i began with mayor knew some. when we do our public bonds, we would do them responsibly under a 10-year capital plan and we will not increase your property taxes beyond 1998 levels. we will do it smartly. that is the way to pre discipline in the maybe handle the public's money. we have to get it done on time. that is why you passed the general hospital rebuild, the largest bond in the history of our city, $987 million. because of the discipline in the capital plan, they are on time. when we put a bit of discipline into how we do things, things start working out how we had planned and there are no cost overruns, delays, complaints, and all of the other scandals we
used to suffer from. while we are doing those things, there are exciting things on the horizon. yes, we have lost the 49ers playing their games in the city in a few years. we had to take that in stride. i admit, that stung a little bit. then i try to balance it off by making sure we have a successful america's cup, and then there is this nba franchise that wants to be part of the success of this city. they see themselves being capable of being even more successful than a basketball franchise. i want to welcome them into the city and proceed accordingly, with hopefully a plan that would welcome them in with, hopefully, a waterfront-type of a rematch. while we lose some, we make up for it. -- arena. there are some things that will be challenging, more things that
we can work on that will keep the spirit of the city. i am never going to apologize for grabbing someone else's team. somebody did it to us, for different reasons. but if they can be more successful in our city, i will welcome them in. i will also welcome entities and businesses that manufacture things that are made in san francisco. i want that so much. i have a theory -- and you can test me on this. wherever you go in the world, san francisco has a great name. you go to china, europe -- i am from san francisco. i love that place. you are from san francisco? what is happening? they will engage you. anything that is made in san francisco will receive the same treatment. high-quality, innovative. very worth it. whatever the price.
i am banking on, if we manufacture ceramics, apparel, fashion, chocolates, anything that has a worldwide commodity consumption to it, that brand name of made in san francisco will be very successful. so we are going to invest in companies, whether they are small businesses or neighborhood businesses, to go global with us. we are working with a whole. use technology. they are growing. we have fashion, fashion accessories, jewelry, ceramics. they want to make this high quality, world class stuff in san francisco. they want to sell it to the rest of the world. we will get back to a level of manufacturing we can do. i have housing as a challenge.
we're trying to find a replacement for the redevelopment agency. i will close by saying, muni is always on everybody's mind. it is on everybody's mind the next couple of weeks. they are trying to balance the budget. wire we doing crazy things like parking meters on sunday, increasing citations? why do we do that to ourselves? i have personal things i have shared with ed about this. if we can find other ways to fund it, we will. but we're still in a hard place. we put ourselves up as voters to say we will take the whole thing. we are wrestling with that. ed risken started doing some of the hard stuff. he terminated 16 of the highest-
level managers to show it had to be done. it had to be done. he went through those positions that were not helping him get to where he needed to be. he needs to signal to the entire work force a different day. his management is one i am used to and have included. do the fiscally responsible thing you have to do before you ask the public for more sacrifice. they have been sacrificing a lot. we are doing that. we are exercising as much in getting federal and state grants for the transportation lines. we're investing in the assets of muni. they're going to be more hard decisions when it comes to labor. there has to be cost cutting and a level of discipline. people cannot just shot to work with me feel like it. they have to be disciplined in their schedules. that is a snapshot of what we
have been doing in the first 100 days. it is a lot, but it is what i signed up to do. i do not mind working hard. i am tired every night, but i am satisfied every morning when i get up and can look myself in the mirror and say i got someone else's job, it is worth it. this city will be successful if everyone calabria's and keeps the eye on the ball of economic recovery. talking about the city has to be everybody's process and agenda. if you do your part and graduate from college, the city will be there for you. whether it is great transit, entertainment, schools. the next generation is looking to what we are saying. they will inherit a city that has to be better than when i started. thank you very much.
i look forward to your questions. [applause] >> thank you to mayor lee. i am the vice president of communications for the aaa insurance exchange and your moderator today. we have a number of questions. i will start with a high level question. what is the most challenging thing you have had to do as mayor? >> wow. everything has been challenging. nothing is easy. i do not think there is any one particular thing that has been more challenging than the other. i thought i was much more of a
natural at collaborating with everybody, but given the amount of things we have to get done, i find it challenging to bp high level of collaborating with everybody that needs to know what is going on before we make the decision. i am still up to the challenge. that is what exhausts me to no end. no matter what position with different departments and agencies, i have got to make sure they know what is happening. that is the most draining part. when you do accomplish something like getting the giants to unveil the next development, a lot of people appreciate what that means. >> this question is from someone who would like for you to explain why pmc group has to pay
the city for items like transportation and education. why can they not just build it? >> if they just build what they wanted to build, you are going to have thousands of workers for the hospital converge on one of the most congested avenues in the city. if you put three or 4000 more people on the corner, what will you have? complete contest in. if they hire 7000 permanent jobs with their hospitals, where would they live? do we want them to commute from across the bay? should they live in the city and use our public transit? how would they translate those job opportunities to make sure the highest number of san franciscans have a chance to get those well-paying medical jobs?
if they ride our transit systems in the numbers we expect, to we have a better system or will we just impose that many more people on it without increasing capacity? you have what we call mitigation of these environmental impacts whenever you have the major business -- in this case, it is two hospitals. we have to gauge the impact. that is not to say we do not have enough to do we do not have other things. they have to buy property for the site. when they bought the property, they did not realize they have to demolish housing for middle- income folks. we had to have the housing units replaced. all these are mitigation measures that as of two hours ago were finally agreed on.
that is why we introduced to the board of supervisors the full agreement for that. we also signaled the introduction of it to the planning commission. we are in agreement. they are in agreement with us that these are credible things if they are to make a sizable retrofit of the two hospitals. >> there are a number of questions about homelessness. i was just in new york city. i did not see any while i was there. it does continue to affect san francisco negatively, especially tourism. what is your plan to help those in need while creating a better environment for the city? >> part of my announcement and appointment was to get someone who is completely known to the board of supervisors because he
has been a past member, but also to the whole arena of compassion. when he was a candidate, he spoke about homelessness and low income. he has been a friend of mine for many years. he and i will figure this out for the long term using all the experience we have. we do have tools. we have sit and lie. we have new ideas we will be presenting in the next few weeks on what we can do to reduce the amount of homeless. we believe supported housing is the answer. the challenge is putting in of conditions on the street to force people to make better decisions. many homeless individuals are not making better decisions. they are making decisions that
continued their existence on the streets. we cannot have that. we cannot have people feeling more comfortable on the streets than in shelters, transitional housing, or the services we provide. i think we have been providing the services with the help of many of you in this room. and local. wells fargo has been helping us with project homeless connect to the tune of thousands of dollars to get services out there. people are still not making the decisions. we have to use a level of enforcement that has not been seen in the city to force people into better decisions. we're going to exhibit compassion to use that in the right way. rudy giuliani did it differently. [laughter] i am not so sure we want to return the favor. i think we have a commitment --
i think our values are that we need to make those individuals make more responsible decisions. we need to create an environment in which those decisions can be made. that is what we will do. i think will have a dramatic effect. >> you are listening to the commonwealth club of california radio program. our guest is mayor and the -- ed lee, discussing the future of san francisco. here is a question about transportation. you did speak about muni. this question is about high- speed rail. do you support it? do you think it is the right way to go? >> let me tell you, right now our future economy is dependent upon of high-speed rail. let me tell you why. 1/3 of the traffic at our san
francisco airport is due to the commute between los angeles and san francisco. we cannot expand the runways at the airport. we have agreed we would never be permitted to do that even if we wanted to. we're not going to be able to expand our airport. our new economy is dependent upon international flights increasing. we cannot get more international flights into san francisco unless we move the l.a.-san francisco commute off of the airlines and on to high-speed rail. 1/3, that is what we're betting on. if we can get high-speed rail out there and move that off, we will include -- increase our air flights.
that is our theory. i believe strongly in that. we have 10 of the largest cities in california in agreement with us that we will be the northern terminal for high-speed rail reading l.a. and san francisco. a lot more details to be had. palo alto wants us to work with them on the first phase. we will do that and respect the needs of the peninsula as we move along. the ultimately, we will get to high-speed rail. that will be a benefit. that is my economic argument for why we need high-speed rail. it is important for our future. >> automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians are having problems on the street. they seem to have a problem coexisting. what are your plans to solve the problem?
what are your plans to make it easier for bicyclists to use that as a form of transportation in the city? >> i am a great supporter of additional bicycle lanes in the city. the responsibility for safety on the road is both bicyclists and car drivers. it has to be a shared responsibility. it cannot be finger-pointing. a bike inappropriately used and abused can kill. it has happened twice. we will take the hot spots of the city. we know where they are because that is where the accidents are reported. we will give a higher level of visible education and enforcement at the hot spots for everybody. muni drivers, car drivers, and
bicyclists in those hot spots will learn through a high level of enforcement by our officers. we have agreed to that approach already. we have an agreement with the bicycle coalition as well as the police department and walk sf, the pedestrian groups, the slowdown groups. they're all in dazed with us to make the streets safer -- they are all in agreement with us to make the streets safer. you will see an increased focus on the hot spots. there are hot spots along market street and everywhere else. it will signal a shared responsibility by everyone. everyone has to learn to be educated. we will start with education. we will get very deliberate.
i think it will save lives. it will create a culture where everybody has to respect each other's views of the road. >> you alluded to the former mayor who said he would solve the muni problem in 100 days. he will not make that mistake, but what will you do to fix it? >> i meet regularly with mta. i have sessions with their board members as well. one is to make sure they pay very serious attention to their economics, that they build reserves to spend money on their assets, the trains, cars, and trucks. they do not have labour practices that are not efficient and keep every example
of excessive and abusive things, that they take care of it. these are simple ways of how you run a corporation. you do not allow bad things to happen or get out of control. the new have balance sheets. you have to go through the discipline. -- then you have balance sheets. you have to go through the discipline. it sounds overly simple. you can imagine how we got out of what -- whack for some many years. the trains and trucks were not invested in. somebody made the decision along the way to give raises. that is why we put them out independently, so they would not be political decisions made. it would be business decisions made. while we're doing that, part of the solution is technology use. we have already invited sf city
to help us tackle through hackatons to innovate in ways never thought of before. muni is more than just buses, it is taxis and bicycle lanes. as complicated as the system is, we're starting to get great ideas on how to improve parking and transit in more than one way. i think we're going to use technology to help guide buses and trolleys to get places on a more responsible timeframe. that is the number-one question every time i meet with employees of a new technology company, how we're going to improve muni. half of them write it to work. if they're going to spend 15 hours at work, they have to do it at work and not on muni.
>> we were talking about the america's cup. they are pulling back on what they're doing in the city. i have a couple of questions related. this person wants to know how that will affect small businesses. there is an overall interest in how san francisco will support the burdens of small business. >> we're still working with america's cup to make sure small businesses do get a shot at this great event. it has been scaled down to the tune of $100 million. we will not have the investment in some of the piers we wwanted. it does not mean the excitement and capacity will be less than we predicted. there will be a lot of people in town. you should hear some of the exciting things. t